UTAH (ABC4) — Many ski resorts in Utah have closed for the remainder of the day due to unusually strong winds. High winds lower visibility in the surroundings, which ultimately impairs the ski lifts and trams operations.

“We know the winds have been wreaking havoc,” said Alana Brophy, ABC4’s chief meteorologist. “They shut down resorts — not running the lifts because of the gusty conditions.”

Alta said its entire ski area, including all of its lifts, has been closed for the remainder of the day.

Andria Huskinson, communication manager of Alta Ski Area, told ABC4 that they were at one point dealing with 100 mph wind gusts. She added that closing due to high winds is an “extremely rare” occurrence, and she could not remember the last time it happened.

Snowbird Ski Resort announced at 2 p.m. that Chickadee is the only lift operating today. Similarly, Brighton Resort said all mountain operations will be closed for the day due to high winds. Solitude Mountain Resort also put its operations at Summit Express on hold and said it is expected to remain closed for the rest of the day.

ABC4’s Meteorologist Nate Larsen said wind-related advisories and warnings have been issued for much of western Utah, including the Tooele and Salt Lake Counties, beginning at noon Thursday through early Friday morning. Winds of 25-35 mph are expected with gusts to 55 mph. 

“Gusty winds ahead of our approaching cold front prompted a wind advisory and high wind warning on the western side of the state,” Brophy said. “We also saw strong wind gusts at mountain tops, and that complicates visibility and conditions for skiers and snowboarders.”

Winds clocked upwards of 50 mph in the Cottonwood Canyons today, Brophy reported.

Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort are open.

Heavy snow is to be expected later tonight. Winter Storm Watch along the Wasatch Front and all of the Utah mountains have been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning. The warning is set for 11 p.m. Thursday until 11 a.m. the next day.

ABC4’s weather team projected snow accumulation for the Wasatch Front tomorrow to be around two to five inches. Central and southern mountains will have between six to twelve inches of snow. Cottonwood Canyons are projected to have snow up to two feet.

Stay up to date with Utah’s weather conditions with ABC4’s weather team. Weather alerts in Utah can be found here.